Life Health

Male birth control shot works but may make you depressed

Postmedia Network

A new male birth control shot has been found to be 96% effective, according to a study, but the trials have been nixed because men couldn't handle the side effects.

Published online last week in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism and co-sponsored by the United Nations, the study involved 300 men with healthy sperm counts and in heterosexual relationships, between the ages of 18 and 45. The subjects received an injection containing a synthetic testosterone and norethisterone enanthate.

Dr. Seth Cohen, a urologist at NYU Langone Medical Center, told CNN this type of shot would cause a man's testicles to stop producing their own testosterone and sperm.

The study spanned from 2006-2012 across countries such as Australia, Germany, the United Kingdom, Chile, India, Indonesia and Italy. But, according to the Atlanta-Journal Constitution, participant enrolment stopped in 2011 after some men complained of side effects, such as depression. Twenty couples even dropped out of the study because of adverse symptoms, the report states.

These symptoms were similar to those experienced by women on the birth control pill, such as acne, increase or AJC and CNN.

Elisabeth Lloyd, a biology professor at Indiana University Bloomington who is unaffiliated with the study, told CNN the results were consistent with a study on birth control for women, published in September in JAMA Psychiatry.

That study, CNN reported, showed a link between birth control and depression/anti-depressant use.

When asked about the future of male birth control, Cohen told CNN that he “was highly alarmed,” saying it crosses ethical guidelines because it's not safe to give testosterone to men who already have healthy levels of it.

But Lloyd said she doesn’t think we’ll have male birth control anytime soon as it's not a new idea.

"It's been a long time since people have been talking about male birth control," Lloyd said. "This goes back to the 1950s at least."

But hormonal contraceptives for men were never developed.